According to a permit filed by Walt Disney Imagineering, contractor Petrotech Southeast has been tasked with “removal and disposal of hydraulics” from Splash Mountain. The work is part of the transformation of Splash Mountain into Tiana’s Bayou Adventure and may provide a bit of insight into just how much work Imagineers are putting into creating a next-gen experience when the ride reopens.
As many guests noticed, Splash Mountain was in a bit of rough shape during its final years of operation. From broken to missing animatronics, it was clear towards the end of the attraction’s life that Disney wasn’t keen on pumping money into keeping the ride in top shape given how much they plan on spending on retheming the ride.
Splash Mountain had its final day of operation on January 22, 2023 and crews have been working on removing existing props to make way for retheming later this year and into next year. Now, it looks like Disney could be taking steps to remove a significant amount or even all of the old animatronics and upgrading the ride tech to bring impressive, next-gen animatronics to Tiana’s Bayou Adventure.
Back in August 2021, Walt Disney Imagineer Charita Carter talked a little bit about how Disney will incorporate new technology into the ride. Carter, who is the Producer and WDI Team Leader for the project, said that Disney is trying to “change the game” when it comes to their animatronics and scenic illusions:
Well I can tell you as Imagineers, first of all, we’re always interested in expanding our storytelling and advancing our storytelling techniques.
So with this particular project, the way that we are approaching our audio-animatronic figures would be an example of how we are looking to advance the storytelling and really just kind of change the game, as well as the way that we’re approaching our scenic illusions and our visual effects so that we can create an immersive environment that is seamless for our guests.
Perhaps the best-case scenario would be an investment into Tiana’s Bayou Adventure that will bring next-gen animatronics to the ride such as the animatronic tech used to create the Shaman from Na’vi River Journey. Hyper-realistic sculpted theming combined with fluid, seamless movement showcases the best of Imagineering tech. We can only hope that’s what we’ll be getting with Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, and Carter’s comments all but confirm that.
For a full look at everything we know about Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, check out our article below!
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